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Comment of the Fortnight
25 September 1999
Book Reviews and Political Commentary

Once again, two busy weeks have flown by without my having given the Comment of the Fortnight any thought at all.

However, for my faithful fans (if there's really anyone out there who reads these things), here are two quick book reviews and a brief political commentary:

Skylar by Gregory McDonald

I've always liked Gregory McDonald's mystery novels. He's written a large number of books whose pricinpal character is reporter Irwin Maurice Fletcher (“Fletch”), a smaller series about spy/police inspector Francis Xavier Flynn, and his most recent series about Skylar Whitfield, a Southern boy who charms all the ladies, gets away with just about anything, and solves murders at the same time. This particular novel is a fun read (although the relationship between the sheriff and his wife is quite serious indeed). Recommended if you have a couple of hours to fill.

Incident at Twenty-Mile by Trevanian

I've read some of Trevanian's other novels (Summer of Katya and Shibumi), and this one was a real departure -- a Western novel. It seems to take forever to get started; at one point I was wondering if Trevanian had simply forgotten one of the characters, but once it does, the pace doesn't let up until almost the very end. In his foreword, Trevanian envisions:

“...the novel I could confect around these rough recollections, a novel firmly embedded in the conventions of the Western genre, but dealing with wider and more contemporary issues...”

and indeed he does, and brilliantly well. At the end of the story, Trevanian returns for a twenty-one page epilog which is worth the price of admission all by itself. Highly recommended.

Political Commentary

So, Pat Buchanan is thinking of leaving the Republican party and going for the Reform Party nomination as candidate for the U.S. Presidency. Ross Perot thinks Buchanan would make a good candidate. An odd couple indeed, and, in some way, they may deserve each other.

I agree with Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-New York), who says that Bill Bradley is electable and Vice President Al Gore isn't.

The Republicans will probably nominate Texas Governor George W. Bush as candidate for U.S. President. IMHO, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) would be a better choice. If Bush does get nominated, the big question then becomes whom he'll choose as his running mate, and that could be the most interesting part of the race.

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